5 Rules to Reaching the Widest Audience Possible with Your Next Creative Campaign

Illustration of a social media audience

By Nick Panayotopoulos, ECD, Young Hero

For this summer’s Lollapalooza festival, Live Nation teamed with Snapchat for a series of AR filters and navigation features. They appealed to Snap’s core Gen Z demo, while also helping Gen-Xers and Boomers find their way to iconic acts like Metallica and Green Day.

Live Nation and Snap creatively leveraged platform tools to reach a wide, multigenerational audience – but it’s not exactly the norm.

Brands today can easily get trapped chasing the young and the new, instead of thinking bigger about expanding the reach and lifespan of their campaign work.

Here are five ways to ensure your creative work has legs and makes an impact across culture.

1. Try platforms outside your comfort zone.

Brands need to speak to their audience wherever they are these days, not just with TV, radio or Facebook ads. Think about worlds that are burgeoning right now, and educate yourself on how to get your message across on platforms like the metaverse, which continues to offer groundbreaking options for brands.

Engaging in the metaverse during its infancy can refresh mature brands — whether it’s for a solo event or a dedicated approach — especially given that annual revenues in the metaverse are expected to reach $1 trillion in the coming years.

Also, look to highly popular, yet underutilized, platforms like podcasts, where ads have a brand recall rate of 71%, and where campaigns can run for an entire season, while building new relationships and revenue streams.

2. Don’t sacrifice older demos with a narrow focus on Gen Z.

Brands are always looking to cater to younger audiences like Gen Z, but while studies have shown older millennials and even boomers are influenced by their Gen Z kids and grandkids, don’t discount older generations that carry some of the greatest buying power in the world.

Get creative in how you can reach a range of consumers with savvy advertising or even product placement. Put yourself in the mindset of Netflix’s “Stranger Things,” which resurrected a 37-year-old Kate Bush song that was hip enough for teens but also nostalgic for adults, skyrocketing the artist to the top of today’s Billboard charts.

3. Abandon the one-and-done approach to hiring creators.

Integrate young, diverse creators with wide-ranging talents and perspectives into your campaigns from inception. Brands increasingly turn to so-called influencers to power their advertising projects, a recent survey found, but tapping an influencer after the fact to help promote a spot is both temporary and archaic.

Brands need to put creators in front of, behind and even adjacent to the camera from the start, which can yield multiple long-term creative benefits. For example, if you like the work of the creator, and your team has the capabilities, make them a regular member of your team, either in a freelance or full-time capacity.

4. Make social media a production-plan must.

Even when doing 30-second spots, keep the cameras rolling for TikTok and Instagram Reels material. Give creators room to bring fresh takes to content that, today, may yield more eyeballs than the spot itself.

When deploying this content, be economical about what you’re launching. Despite recent backlash against Instagram for an overabundance of videos, Instagram Reels aren’t going anywhere, and, as recently observed in Marketing Brew’s “Future Social,” they’re practically identical to TikTok videos. Launch the same videos on TikTok and Reels and watch your campaign’s lifespan organically grow across channels.

5. Be genuine. It’s table stakes for reaching any audience.

We’re past the point where consumers, regardless of age or background, can sense when a brand is delivering genuine content or a condescending sales pitch. Keep this top of mind with every move you make. Building relationships with upcoming creators from the start, for example, can help a brand gain credibility and be part of a community, while meeting consumers on the actual platforms they use now will make them feel seen, and that much more likely to spread the word – and life – of your campaign.

Here’s the bottom line: It’s simple. Brands that think outside the norm stand out, and the tools with which to do so are already waiting for you, from innovative Web3 technology to bold talent partnerships and multi-generation appeal. All you need is the audacity to pick them up.